Author Topic: finding yourself or coming out  (Read 87510 times)

Offline Suze

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finding yourself or coming out
« on: Apr 14, 2007, 05:47:53 PM »
I thought I'd start this as a possible thread for the archives, as I see another newbie arrive who might benefit from a collection of our stories .. so you are all invited to tell us what you want about your own journey to queerness of whatever colour ....

I'll start!

I have been with my current partner B for a little over 14 years ... I'm 48 now and spent the previous 30 years in a sort of denial about my feelings. .. enough to mean that I got married when I was a scant 21 (still at uni, ffs!)

he was a decent bloke, quite feminine as it happens and I found it a reasonable life .. but I also knew that part of me wasn't quite right with it, and knew that I had strong sexual attraction to certain women .. and had felt this since puberty, really .

I dunno if I would have acted on these feelings if it hadn't ben for meeting B ..  alos a married woman

we worked together and gradually got to be better and better friends, spending hours together after work and at weekends whenever we could, until one time we went away with a few other women in our "reading group" and ended up sharing our bed ...  I know I'd harboured fantasies about her for a while, and she said she'd felt the same ..

from there we acted really quickly cos B said she "wouldn't have an affair" and I said I "wouldn't let her get away" .. so we both told our husbands within the week that our marriages were over and we've been together ever since ... this is far and away best thing that ever happened to me

I now think I'd never want to share my life with a man again .. tho I guess part of me recognises that the "individual" matters more to me than their sex .. I have observed a lot of men, and husbands in particular over the years and really prefer a wife!

I'm open to questions, comments etc or ppl can just post their own stories and hopefully it will grow to a lovely, useful thread

« Last Edit: Apr 14, 2007, 05:51:11 PM by suze »
Begin doing what you want to do now.

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Re: finding yourself or coming out
« Reply #1 on: Apr 14, 2007, 08:32:42 PM »
This is a good idea.  :)

Alright. The first time I remember having a 'gay' thought was in 1st year at high school. The new girl was sitting at the desk in front of me and I caught myself thinking about how lovely her huge hips and little waist were. I told myself I wasn't supposed to be thinking about girls like that and promptly forgot about it until I was 15 and had a crush on another girl.

I decided I was bisexual - goodness knows why as I'd never fancied a boy. I suppose it was easier to accept that despite liking girls, there was still a chance of a 'normal' life.

I went out with my first girlfriend when I was 17 and it didn't end too well. Then I went out on the gay scene in Edinburgh, hated it, and totally abandoned it to concentrate on the local music scene instead. I met a guy there who I was drawn to personality wise, and although I didn't fancy him I convinced myself that what's inside was what counted and we got together.

5 months later (after splitting up and getting back together twice because the relationship didn't feel right) I accidentally got pregnant.

We split up when our son was almost two.

After that I dated another man (having completely failed to learn anything from the previous relationship). Again, I liked him very much but didn't fancy him. I'd heard straight women say that about their partners too, and I honestly thought it was normal. Cracks again started to show fairly quickly. We split up.

By this time I was happily enjoying a rock star crush on Amanda Palmer from the Dresden Dolls. I was sitting drinking wine in front of the computer one night watching Dolls videos on YouTube when it suddenly hit me - if this amazing woman was my girlfriend, I'd be nothing but proud. If any woman that amazing was with me, I'd be nothing but proud. Being a lesbian wasn't a scary concept anymore, the world was not about to come to an end; it was just a word for me with someone I was proud to be with, with someone I truly loved.


Everything fell into place rather like a ton of bricks after that, each with 'Duh' written on them. It was such a relief.

I'm still friends with both my male ex's, and they've been incredibly supportive.  :)

Offline Dottie

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Re: finding yourself or coming out
« Reply #2 on: Apr 14, 2007, 09:01:30 PM »
I'm so glad this thread has been reincarnated !

I married at 17 and had three children and 6 grandchildren before I realized what my husband had meant by me being "a bit funny"!  Prior to my marriage, I had a brief encounter with a girl but then I somehow shut her out of my mind because marrying a man in the 1960s was the norm - I had never even heard of anyone being gay !

Then 30+ years later, I simply fell in love with another woman and my feelings were too strong to ignore.  My attraction to women, which had been suppressed for so long felt completely and utterly natural.  So, coming out to myself was most enlightening - and scary !  I told my best friend first and it turned out she was not at all surprised.  She supported me 100% through what was to become the most turbulent change to my life.

I couldn't live a lie and so I left my marriage to strike out on my own 4 years ago. I subsequently went to a counsellor for a short period who put me in touch with GB -hence I started the "married for many years" thread which unfortunately got lost when the Archive threads were started.  I had no idea at that time just how many other lesbians were in the same boat as me and the stories that unfolded helped me immensely.  

I feel at home on these boards and I've met and e-mailed some lovely people who frequent GB !

I hope this thread goes on and on and gets firmly superglued in the Archives !

Dottie xx

"married for many years...then fell for a woman"


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Re: finding yourself or coming out
« Reply #3 on: Apr 15, 2007, 01:36:59 AM »
I never really was a 'little girl'... I went to cubs then scouts, I climbed trees, I pretended to shave in the bath and played kiss chase with other women. I always used to kiss female friends too...

I got bullied a lot because of learning difficulties and because my Dad left us and we were hard up, so naturally in high school I really wanted to fit in. I always felt like I wanted to kiss female friends though, I watched my lady friends far more attentively and noticed women's breasts A LOT. But then at the same time I had depression and didn't start dating until I left school. My music teacher was FIT.

Anyway, at sixteen I still had the whole pretty-girl-talks-to-me-and-I-blush things going on, I never had any gay friends before, I couldn't figure it out and it scared te shit outta me. I had two boyfriends, then went in to hospital because I was so depressed... Aged eighteen, I kinda came out to my ex boyfriend, I came out as 'bisexual' because I had had crushes on boys before, if that makes sense. I wanted attention off men because other girls got it and it made me feel liked. Had two more boyfriends, but relationships never got far... I disliked the physical aspect, it felt cold (if that makes any sense).

I worked in a pub where I heard a lot of homophobic things said by customers, so again I slinked away if I ever saw a woman I liked. The fact is, growing up I knew a pretty girl could make me dizzy and blush and happy, boys? I felt a duty to like them and admittedly I've hurt people in the past because of this, I'm nt proud of that.

Likng girls made me suicidal because it was not something I ever had control over... I only ever started to question my sexuality properly around nineteen or twenty when I met Sam through a Pagan meeting. But my moods were all over the place and ths only confused me more... Enough of boring teenage crap...

At twenty one I went to university and found out what myspace was and joined. I had already been to LGBT a few times (privately, not telling anyone) and found a profile of a rather attractive, but slightly eccentric young woman. We got talking and yeah... I really liked her. I thought about her a lot, I was away from home and kinda... Well, she went home. But we affirmed how we felt and stuff. *sigh*

I travelled with another gay woman and eventually, I came out to her. The fact was that it was driving me crazy... Got sick of living a lie, got sick of trying to be girly and not being me. I didn't give a toss anymore and joined Gingerbeer after which I told my friends.

Uhmm... Nobody was really very surprised. LOL

And recently I told my Mum, but I don't think she wants to believe it, or is comfortable with it. I think she thinks that I went with the exchange student because I was scared boys will hurt me and that women make me feel safe. I really don't know... All I know is what I feel and I've finally committed to stop trying to be what I think other people want me to be.

I am still adjusting and learning about myself... This is natural I guess... I'm glad I have supportive mates too. I have a lot to learn though and maybe, I'll have a nice lady to share my world with (with big tits I hope lo jk!). I don't "identify" as "gay", but as "queer" and I hate being called a "lesbian" maybe because I'm not used to it, or because it scares me, I dunno. I really hate labels and I would say that I am 95% in to women, 5% in to guys so I guess technically I am "bisexual" or whatever stupid label people wanna slap on me.

I'm slowly becoming more confident with myself and since my image change I am for some reason getting chatted up sometimes. I would still be a bit nervous to date a woman properly (though I would have dated the American) because I don't really have loads of experience with women and I'm aware that it'd put a lot of women off that a newbie like me would wanna be with them and am scared I'd be a shit shag, or a crap girlfriend... But then my self-esteem is improving all the time so who knows eh?
« Last Edit: Apr 16, 2007, 02:18:23 PM by Puca! »

Offline Mosaic

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Re: finding yourself or coming out
« Reply #4 on: Apr 15, 2007, 08:23:59 AM »
I thought through a process of elimination that I might be a lesbian when I was 25 (12 years ago).  I'd come out of a 2 year relationship with a close male friend (known him since I was 16), I suffered from low libido - it was a hypothetical thing though as I'd never at the time knowingly been in love with another woman (looking back, I clearly had though!).

I contacted the Gay & Lesbian Switchboard who put me in contact with my local rep who happened to be my old PE teacher.....I ran a mile though as she recognised my name - and therefore knew my mum, dad and sister who'd also all been involved in the school in various ways.  And I had nowhere else to take this info as I was terrified of what it might mean.  When I'd contacted the Switchboard, I'd wanted to stay anonymous.  This was the 80s, my home town is very nice as are my parents...but very middle class and, well, lesbian role models simply aren't on the radar in any way, shape or form - hence I had no reference points for it or anywhere/anyone to come out to.  I told 2 friends about my "I thought I might be a lesbian but I'm not...." - my best female friend and another good male friend who later became my husband!

I got married and genuinely didn't think about being a lesbian again.  I assumed I was straight.  Similar to other people here - all my boyfriends always had a strong feminine and nurturing side.  I was with my ex hubby for 10 mostly happy years and we had a daughter.

Then, through work, I met a woman who I became instantly so close to....I couldn't make head nor tail of what was going on until I took the labels off....and realised that I was in love with her.  She was already in a committed relationship with another woman.  She loved me too.  I left my husband for her within a month as I didn't want to have an affair either.  For various reasons, she didn't leave her gf until the following year.  Unfortunately, we're not together now.

Coming out to myself was truly liberating for me and totally agonising for all my loved ones.  I left my marriage, broke up my family unit, caused pain to my parents......but I also had to recognise that some of this pain was other people's stuff.  I was trying to be the main bread winner, support my ex hubby (he was very supportive from Day 1 and, for the first few months, we stood together when everyone else was throwing their emotional stuff at us), be there as a mum, run a household and cope with the fact that the woman I loved couldn't be with me there and then.  Not surprisingly, I had a breakdown due to total exhaustion (throw into the mix moving away from the area, another relationship that didn't work get the picture).  Very traumatic and exhausting for the 12-18 months.

Things have moved on since then.  Life is hectic and often hard, but no longer traumatic or emotionally difficult.  I'm a single parent, my ex hubby has been with his new gf for ovr a year and tings are generally amicable between us.  I'm happy with my lesbian identity and have made some lovely dyke friends.  I've got a new gf, also a single parent, who's very grounded, laidback and all round lovely.  My parents couldn't be more supportive and my old friends have been totally accepting.  I'm glad I came out at 34 rather than earlier as I've had teh chance to live as both a straight woman and a dyke.  And I feel like I'm truly myself - I have the same sense of inner joy that I had in my early 20s before I had any serious relationships.  I'm less flighty and feel grounded.

*Update - June 08 - Married my gf (Rainbows) in Dec 2007 and soon to move to Somerset with our 2 chidlren to start family life together properly.*

**Update - July 09 - still very happy with Rainbows and loving Somerset - we've been here for over a year now.**

***Update - Jan 2015 - now converted our CP to a marriage!  Yay!***
« Last Edit: Jan 23, 2015, 11:58:19 AM by Mosaic »
Have lived and loved.  Still living (just) and am definitely still in love.

Offline Suze

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Re: finding yourself or coming out
« Reply #5 on: Apr 15, 2007, 09:09:18 AM »
Gosh - what a privilege to read these stories .. you all write in such interesting ways .. thank-you!

The FEAR of being gay seems to run through these personal histories in one way or another. 

What I missed out of my first post was my own totally unsuitable affair with a totally unsuitable women in my 20s which led me to agnonising questions and uncertainty and thus to the Intensive Care Ward where it was touch and go if I'd recover from my suicide atempt  ..

Luckily I did pull through, obviously! But later, when I came out in my relationship with B I was VERY out and VERY proud cos living a lie had nearly killed me, and I wasn'tgoing to hide myself again ..

That is why I'm totally out in my role as a teacher .. as mosaic says there are not many middle-class every day role models of lesbians around, and even in these more liberated times  I still meet young ppl who are agonised by their own fear and homophobia .. which blights them as much as it ever did us ...   

It might seem like it's easier to be gay these days, and certainly the net allows us to meet and chat in a way that is very open and helpful, but each person has to travel their own path, and for many youngsters that path is still a tough one ... conforming is still highly prized !
Begin doing what you want to do now.

We are not living in eternity.

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Re: finding yourself or coming out
« Reply #6 on: Apr 15, 2007, 10:22:29 AM »
I've really enjoyed reading these. You all write very well. :)

I'm not really out, except to two people and internet people.

You know, my being a lesbian is about far more than sexual attraction to women (in fact, what worries me is that sexual attraction plays a very minor, if not completely non-existent role in my crushes). I've never had a 'lightbulb moment' which comes after realising you want to get into a woman's pants.

My crushes have always been more about emotional infatuations. And these crushes have always been on women. But it's never been like 'oh, she's so hot', etc. It's more like, 'I wish I could spend time in her office talking to her or just cuddling with her or doing something. I don't really know what I'd like to do - just be with the object of my affection, I suppose.

When I have a conversation with a female whose personality I find lovely, I naturally start to flirt with her, or at least want to. This emotional attraction only happens with females, even though I like men as people too, but I just don't seem to ever have the thought 'I'd like him to my boyfriend', as I'm sure other girls my age would have with a boy.

The realisation that I was a lesbian was a gradual one. In hindsight, I had a crush on my Grade 1 teacher. I definitely had a thing for teachers throughout school, and now have a thing for lecturers. The innocence of the nature of my crushes has not changed since I was 6, although my taste in women has. :)

To be honest, I think I'm a lot more asexual than the average person. For a while I thought I may be completely asexual, because I fancied neither boys my age, nor girls my age. I also never understood how someone could fancy a person (male or female) in a magazine, for example. I still do not understand the way people can have crushes based purely on looks. But I think I just have very, very, specific taste. I solely fancy people over about 30ish. I just don't see people my age as potential partners at all, or even as beings I can connect with. I don't know why. But it's definitely women I like as opposed to men.

I'm definitely ready to come out a bit more, maybe even get a real live girlfriend (gasp). I joined the group for lesbians/gay men/bisexuals at my university, but have yet to go to a meeting (I'm lazy and just feel like going home on a Friday afternoon most times). I haven't really 'got out' there into the gay scene because I think I always lived for the future. But I'm lucky now that I have a lot of independence and would be able to go to, say, a gay club on a Saturday night because I have my license, so I could explore my homosexuality without having to come out completely to my family first.

The reason I have not yet come out is not that I am ashamed or fear rejection from my family, but rather because, at the moment, I don't really feel it affects anything. I would come out if I was in a very serious relationship. But even then, I prefer not to share too much of myself with my family because it tends to lead to my being hurt, so this is just another part of me which I would like to keep safe for a while.

Lol, the end.

Offline Suze

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Re: finding yourself or coming out
« Reply #7 on: Apr 15, 2007, 11:12:47 AM »
There are some books on this topic a well:
Lesbian Epiphanies
is especially about older women - tho it's American and I've not read it

Redefining The Self
 looks interesting, albeit a bit academic and not cheap at 18.

  Out of the Past
Is a more general history but something I felt I wantedwhen I first came out, to get a sense of the past and the meaning of queerness to queer ppl  (as opposed to the Daily Mail etc)

There are a couple of books on  my bookshelf that I really "rated" but cannot find just this minute and trawling in Amazon and Libertas
has drawn a blank  :(

I'll keep looking and would like it if others posted links to titles they can really recommend and/or coment on too

right, I just found this one that I really love, it's got 19 different stories of lesbian life since the 1920s ..
Women Like Us

and this one which I have also read several times and recommend for lesbian history
Not a Passing Phase

« Last Edit: Apr 16, 2007, 02:08:17 PM by suze »
Begin doing what you want to do now.

We are not living in eternity.

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Offline millicent

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Re: finding yourself or coming out
« Reply #8 on: Apr 15, 2007, 11:16:26 AM »
I can relate to a lot of things in your post, particularly this bit:

You know, my being a lesbian is about far more than sexual attraction to women (in fact, what worries me is that sexual attraction plays a very minor, if not completely non-existent role in my crushes). I've never had a 'lightbulb moment' which comes after realising you want to get into a woman's pants.

I felt like that when I was your age.
I wouldn't worry - maybe you just haven't had your light bulb moment yet.

Like you, I've had crushes on women ever since I can remember. (I adored my Kindergarten auntie. I used to follow her around and I was heartbroken when she left to have a baby.)

I had a boyfriend when I was 14 (because everybody else did), but I really didn't see what the fuss was about.
I remember writing in my diary that the only difference between my boyfriend and my other male friends was that he got to touch my breasts and kiss me and the others didn't. (Neither of which I particularly enjoyed - it wasn't repulsive as such, but not something I'd actively seek more of.) And that the rule that he was allowed to do that and others weren't felt fairly arbitrary.

(Ironically, looking back, he was probably the girliest person I've ever gone out with. He came out as gay shortly after we split up.)

When I was 16 I fell in love with a girl in my class, but still I wasn't sure if I wanted to be with her (and do what exactly?) or if I just wanted to be her.
Nothing came of it, and I never told her.

It may sound cheesy, (not that I care if it does) - I had my 'light bulb moment' when my girlfriend kissed me for the first time - I was 20. (After weeks of angst and indecision in broad daylight in a park in Weimar amongst lots of families having their picnics.)
After that I did understand what the fuss was about. I remember feeling incredibly relieved.

I haven't looked back since.
(That's the abridged version.)
'if you take away the cake, the icing is meaningless.'

Offline RedSky

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Re: finding yourself or coming out
« Reply #9 on: Apr 15, 2007, 12:06:35 PM »
From the age 12 I was safely locked away in an English girls only boardings school. My parents thought it would knock my boyish behaviour out of me and I will agree, I learned a lot more about women!  ;D I met my first girlfriend there at the age of 15 and at the time everyone thought it was a girly crush.

After 16 I went to college and dated boys. I kept wondering why the boys I was dating weren't as nice as all these wonderful female friends I had. I also wondered why my female friends were so intent on dating such idiots!

At 19 I made friends with some gay men I met at college and they took me to the local gay disco. Suddenly everything started to fall into place. My Girlfriend from school came to stay and we started living together, but we didn't really mix with other similar women. We considered ourselves to be bisexual at the time, mainly because we felt we didn't fit with the 'image of a lesbian'. We actually enjoyed the company of men and believed that lesbians tried to exclude men from their lives and neither did we 'dress, think or behave like lesbians'.  ::)

At 21 my Girlfriend left to go to university in the USA on her (American)parents insistance. She went on to live a 'straight' life after that, but we are still friends.  I went to live in a shared house with a gay man and a pre-op MTF, but still felt very alone for a long while. I started going out with my housemates to the bars and met a lot more women and discoverd what REAL Lesbians were like. Shortly after, I formerly declared myself a lesbian and went around telling my family and workmates who all claimed they knew anyway!

I moved to London into a shared lesbian home in Stoke Newington and went round all the bars and clubs. Dated a lot of different women and had lots of one night stands. Lots of alcohol and risk taking seemed to be involved and my career and confidence went from strength to strength, but I never settled with anyone for more than about 4 months.

At the age of 29, my career was in a place where I moved to San Francisco. I found the dyke scene VERY different there. Much less alcohol, less bed hopping, more social groups, more activites and the women wanted to spend more time getting to know you before any personal commitment.

I met my current Girlfriend at work two years before we were to go out together. She worked two desks away from me and was already in a relationship that was to last 11 years. We were friends who ate lunch together and there were no strings and had no intentions, especially as there is a 21 year age gap between us.

When her relationship fell apart, I was supportive and started taking her to the dyke places. She and I dated several other people, but I kept wondering why I couldn't meet anyone of my own age that was like her(I found out later that she was thinking the same thing!).  Eventually, after we did one fantastic Dyke march at SF Pride we got it together and have been together ever since. The relationship has thrived for 6 years now and we moved back to the UK together in the middle of it. This one seems to be for life!  ;D

« Last Edit: Jun 27, 2008, 10:53:12 AM by Fluffball »

Offline Suze

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Re: finding yourself or coming out
« Reply #10 on: Apr 15, 2007, 12:57:22 PM »
me and a pal of mine did that practising cuddling thing when we were 10/11
I never told anyone but when I came out to another mate, some 20 yrs later SHE said, "I'm not surprised .. you and Mand used to  .... .... 
I wanted to know how she knew about me and Mand's activities, and she told me Mand has "propositioned" her, way back then, and used my compliance as a part o f her persuasion..

the third party mate declined Mand's offer and has gone on to be one of the straightest women I know, tho she is a vehement feminist and rarely has a good word to say for men she simply doesn't get any erotic charge from women!
Begin doing what you want to do now.

We are not living in eternity.

We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake.


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Re: finding yourself or coming out
« Reply #11 on: Apr 15, 2007, 02:01:08 PM »
I remember as a young child telling everyone I was a boy, I always played with boys, dressed like a boy, when we played 'house' I was always the dad so that I could be lovey dovey with the other girls, etc etc. I never had crushes on boys or thought them to be cute, but I did an awful lot of pretending to do those things while in grade school.

It was about the time I was 10 or so that I realized I had crushes on girls, that I dreamed about my best friends at night, and wanted to kiss them. But I had no idea what that was and had no label for it. It wasn't until I finally saw a movie with lesbian characters that it all made sense. I was closeted about being a lesbian for about 7 years. When I was in high school I had a boyfriend for 2 years because I wanted to make sure I was a lesbian. In two years I never let him do anything more than hold my hand and take me to dances and other things like that.

When I was 17 and a senior in high school, I noticed a sign in my guidence counselor's office about a GLBT scholarship. I found the guts to ask him (a Catholic brother) and he was the first person I told about being a lesbian. I had wanted to come out during my senior year, but being at Catholic school and some other circumstances made me wait until after I graduated.

Just days after getting out of high school I told my best friend and she was completely supportive. I then told my brother. I wanted to tell my parents before I went off to college for my degree because I didn't want them to think it was some silly college phase. I never thought they'd disown me or be awful about it and I never thought to not tell them. When I told my mother her first reaction was to never tell my father and that I needed to go to church more. She eventually told my dad within 6 months. They both still loved me but hoped I'd change.

When at college I joined every GLBT group on campus, and within the year was leading several of them. One of the things I think helped alot with dealing with coming out and being newly openly gay, was my involvement as a moderator in a GLBT peer facilitated support group. Having been trained to help others with these issues and to express my feelings in a constructive way was essential to my healing and growing process.

Today my parents are fine with who I am. They are proud of me and love me. They have met all of my girlfriends and have welcomed them fully into their homes and my family life. I sometimes still joke with my dad about this gay phase having lasted 13 years already and that I didn't know when it would change. We laugh now, but finding yourself and coming out is one of the most intense and emotional struggles a person can undertake.

Offline RedSky

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Re: finding yourself or coming out
« Reply #12 on: Apr 15, 2007, 02:18:43 PM »
I must admit, in my early visits to the gay bars/clubs as a teenager and in my early twenties, everyone seemed much older than me and there was an obvious shortage of women who were my own age.

Now I'm in my 30's, I go down the gay bar and there you all are!!! It seems that many women wait until their 30's and 40's to 'Come Out'. For instance, my Girlfriend was 35 and married when she had her first lesbian affar.

And even in today's world...the helpline I volunteer for gets phone calls from people well past retirement, trying to come out.

I can't help thinking it is a terrible waste of a what could've been a fantastic life!  :'(


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Re: finding yourself or coming out
« Reply #13 on: Apr 15, 2007, 09:50:32 PM »
Very good to read. I really admire people who are out and provide a role model. I
I taught PE for 4 years and had made a concious choice not to be. I didn't want to risk my parents finding out from someone else neither do I want to tell them while I live at home.
However whenever I had to deal with girls who I knew were struggling with sexuality I always felt guilty and wondered if I'd done the right thing. I think I didn't want to say anything till I was sure - however this was at the same time as generally "arranging" to bump into the drama taecher or whoever was the latest crush. It was during my first year teaching I admitted to myself how I felt - there is quite a long list of women / girls I'd liked PE teacher / patrol leader when I was a girl guide. I think i had a feeling of being different but not why.
I left teaching 3 years ago having had a  breakdown,  tough school been involved in a few nasty fight (breaking them up I hasten to add), eventually had a kid with a gun in the classroom.
My experience of learning to cope with that beacuse I lost my job didn't really get any support- apart from my GP who got me counselling eventually.
I would be reluctant to risk being rejected again. While I've recovered fairly well on an outside level it still has quite a marked effect in my head. On a bad day if anyone says "Your looking well ?" I  know it's ment kindly and I try to resist the urge to bite the head off. :)
I'm now back to a stage of being able to rationally think what's best for me I am scared of being rejected if I come out but at the same time I'm becoming aware of living a bit of a lie. I've managed to never actually lie more a case of by ommision.
I work in a male dominated environment low skill / low pay and there are quite a few homophobic comments. I don't particularly like the job or aant to stay but getting the nerve up to move takes time and I haven't exactly had a great deal of sucess at getting interviews - which may or may not be linked to having to declare your mental health on a form. Thinking quiet life here/
I can't believe at 30 my parents don't have suspicians but as they didn't cope well with my breakdown I don't feel anymore positive with this one although my brother does know and was ok.
A couple of my college friends who are also gay know and the women I share my guide unit with who's also been great. Though I did decide to skirt the subject when we were drunk in a 6ft sq tent, it was one of those hypothetical questions made me realise being honest with her was important to me.
I think I ultimately know that my self esteem would improve if I felt accepted for being who I am but I'm not sure what I'm willing to risk, hence the tow in the water approach but it's very good to hear what others have done.


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Re: finding yourself or coming out
« Reply #14 on: Apr 15, 2007, 10:36:47 PM »
Im liking this thread! Its really important to here how peoples coming out are such an important aspect to them finding themselves, me thinks.

I dont really have much to share.. but will give it a go.

Im 20 now, but starting dating my first girlfriend when I was 15 at school... I dont really acknowledge any light-bulb moment of working out I must be gay or something.. it just kind of happened, as our friendship got closer, its just seemed natural that there was this connection between us. Things started with my ex at sleepovers,etc and I guess by not smacking her round the face, and actually enjoying those feelings showed to me more so that this was a good thing. About a month or so into "things" (id like to call it "playing"  ;)) I flipped out and didnt want anything more to do with it... but at the end of the day I was far too turned on by just the thought of anything to ever let it stop. A couple of days later, we kissed for the first time, and that was the begining of a 3 year relationship. It was a kinda reasurring moment, everything was going to be ok..

Looking back now though, I do identify before then, aspects that proberbly could be linked to being gay, different feelings towards girls/celebrities etc.

I came out to my mum and sister 2 months into my first relationship, at 8 months to my friends when we left school as I felt the all-girl-school climate which wasnt all that friendly would be ideal to be out in, and at 2 years, I came out to my dad.

Im now with my second girlfriend and have been for just over a year. I look back on my first relationship as a complete learning curve, discovering how things worked in a relationship, what the boundaries were and what it all meant to be gay. I was 15 when it started, 18 and in my first year at uni when it ended. Through those years, I changed massively, learnt alot, matured and discovered slowly who I wanted to be. These changes I found really affected me wanting to be apart of that relationship, but I needed it to discover alot of those things. I feel this was a very important part of finding out who I was - something I am now able to put into practice with my now gf.

Im slowly becoming more and more confident in being gay - I find it depends completly on who I am with. With friends, its a prominent factor often mentioned in conversations and not looked upon as any different. I find with family (especially wider family) that Im not as comfortable, but I want to be. I also am aware that alot of the time, its my actions that will make me more comfortable as my family arent very proactive in raising conversations.

to pigeon hole, Im femme and a lesbian. But I dont like to deny myself that possibilty that in the future, some guy might have the same affect on me as my current gf. Its possible, though I proberbly wont go searching for it, or desire it.

Ive rambled... and proberbly not that interesting... but quite theraputic for me nonetheless.